The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is placing an emphasis on resilience for this year’s CARICOM Energy Month, Director of the Energy Unit, Bertill Browne saying steps have been taken to make St. Kitts and Nevis’ energy infrastructure “resilient to natural disasters” in an appearance on the radio and television show “Working for You.”
CARICOM Energy Month, observed annually in November, is designed to coordinate the finalisation of the regional energy policy and provide strategic management for a programmatic approach to the energy issues impacting the Caribbean region.
Mr. Browne also noted the Federation not only needs to be resilient against natural disasters, but also human disasters such as war which could dramatically increase the price of imported gas.
Countries in the Caribbean are already saddled with some of the world’s highest per capita energy costs. The region’s annual fuel import bill is around US$9billion per year. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has said that the cost of fuel imports to the Caribbean jumped from US$6.5 billion in 2004 to US$12 billion in 2007, representing between 16 percent and 21 percent of GDP, respectively.
Meanwhile, the region has a wealth of largely untapped renewable energy resources.Mr. Browne said that by developing indigenous energy sources, such as “wind, solar and geothermal, this would insulate us from those external events.”
This year’s theme is “Empowering People, Building Resilience” and he said there are a number of energy projects in the pipeline, which will empower people, and the resultant jobs will give people the necessary “training and experience” in the world of work.